Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The following are frequently asked questions by N3FJP Software users:


Purchasing, Registration and Password:

When I purchase your software package, am I entitled to new Amateur Radio programs that are added to the package after my purchase?

I have purchased a couple of programs from you. How can I upgrade to a software package?

Are upgrades free to registered users?

I purchased N3FJP's Software Package and CD some time ago. Since then you have released new versions for a number of programs. Can I get a new CD with full use of your software for less than $64.99?

I just changed my call sign! Do I have to change my call sign / password combination in AC Log or the contesting software?

When using your log for Field Day, do we have to purchase separate licenses for each computer we use?

Our club registered your software. Are club members allowed to use the club registration at home or elsewhere for their personal use?


Installation and Migrating From Other Logging Software:

How do I download and install a program from the website?

How do I install the program on a computer that is not connected to the Internet using a data storage device?

Is there a link on your website where I can download the package all at once?

Can I transfer the log data file from my "old program" to AC Log?

How do I get my log that I have kept as an MS Excel worksheet into AC Log?

Will your software run on Vista and Windows 7 or 8?

Which emulator are Mac users running with the new versions of your software?

Will your software run on Linux?

I am trying to upgrade to the current version of AC Log and am having trouble transferring my log file. What do I do?

Why is Norton / Symantec blocking the program installation?


Contest File Submittal and Contest File Transfer to AC Log:

How do I submit my contest log entry after the contest is finished?

Help, the contest robot won't accept my Cabrillo log file?

How do I transfer my contest contacts to AC Log and specify the correct mode that LoTW and QRZ will accept?

I'm using Vista / Windows 7 or 8, and I can't find the ADIF/Cabrillo/Other file that I formatted for contest submission?

Can I use AC Log to create a Cabrillo file for contest submission?


Files, Upgrading and Backup:

What are the steps for upgrading to the latest version of Amateur Contact Log?

I just bought a new PC! How do I transfer Amateur Contact Log and my contacts to my new computer?

How do I maintain data on two computers?

Can I maintain multiple log files on AC Log?

How do I export my log to a data storage device?

I want to keep a copy of my contest file. How do I save it?

I would like to backup or transfer my AC Log customized settings. Which files should I copy?

I purchased a customized graphic of my call sign to display each time the software starts. Where do I save the file so that it automatically displays properly?

I no longer have a 3X (or earlier) version of AC Log installed, but I still have my log data file. How can I transfer my log to the newer version of AC Log?

When I sign on to Windows with a different user profile, why is a new log started?

If I ever have to restore from backup, what is the best approach?

What's the best way to protect myself from data loss?


Logbook of the World (LoTW):

Do your programs support the ARRL's Logbook of the World?

In addition to regular contest submission, can I upload my contest data to the ARRL's Log Book of the World?

I uploaded records to LoTW but they aren't marked as sent?

I am having trouble setting up LoTW?

What emission modes are supported by LoTW?

Why am I seeing a message about duplicates when I upload contacts to LoTW?


Callbook Automatic Lookup:

I have downloaded the call data from your website. How do I get the AC Log call data lookup function to work?

I have purchased your CD with the the call data on it. How do I get AC Log to use the call data lookup function from the CD?

I have signed into QRZ with my password, but the QRZ Online Callbook feature does not seem to work.

I use the Buckmaster HamCall CD. Is there a way I can copy the data to the hard drive and have AC Log access it for faster lookup?

I use the QRZ CD. Is there a way I can copy the data to the hard drive and have AC Log access it for faster lookup?

The QRZ Callbook Lookup function stopped working and is only returning the person's name?


Printing:

I want to have a "hard copy" of my contest log. How do I print it?

I want to format and print a report for * * award submission. How can I do this?


Display and Settings:

The AC Log bearing and distance doesn’t seem to work properly for stateside QSOs.

Why are western longitude values entered as positive numbers?

I've rearranged the column header order and changed some of the widths in AC Log. How do I save these changes?

How do I get AC Log to display the date format I want? The sort function is returning an order out of chronological sequence.

AC Log always inserts CW in the Mode Field even when I try to change it.

I'd like to filter the DX spots I see. How can I accomplish that?

How do I set the UTC clock offset with the new versions of your software?

How do I configure AC Log for fast paced, non-contest operations such as DX-peditions, special events, operating from a lighthouse or IOTA location, etc.?


Field Day:

How do I set up the program for networking, accessing a common data file with multiple PCs?

We are going to have multiple stations, but we aren't going to set up a network. How can we combine the log files after the contest?

You have lots of information on setting up your software for networking, but can you help us set up the network itself?

How do we handle GOTA station contacts?

How do I submit our Field Day entry to ARRL?

How do I fix the Unable to Execute SQL Command error?


Other:

Why do I get a com port sharing error message?

Would you mind if I put a link on my website to your site, http://www.n3fjp.com/?

Will your logging software interface with any digital software programs?

How do I control my antenna rotor while using your software?

Why am I unable to upload my ADIF file to ___ with my name in the Operator field?

What is the easiest way to perform bulk or global edits to all my records at once?


Support and Future Plans:

Is there an e-mail users group for your software?

Can you change the Yahoo group(s) e-mail distribution list to my new e-mail address for me?

Can I call you on the phone?

You've been at this a long time! What are your future plans for N3FJP Software?






Purchasing, Registration and Password:


When I purchase one of the software packages, am I entitled to any new Amateur Radio programs that are added to the package after my purchase?

Yes, any new Amateur Radio programs will be freely available to those that have registered our software package. We usually send an e-mail announcement with information about a new program. If you have registered the package and would like to use the new software, just send us an e-mail, and we'll forward an updated password list.


I have purchased a couple of programs from you. How can I upgrade to a software package?

We offer hams who have purchased combinations of software to be able to use the amount they have contributed so far towards the $64.99 N3FJP Software Package and CD or the $49.99 N3FJP Software Package without CD. Please e-mail us, and we will confirm your registrations so far and give you the amount you need to upgrade to the package of your choice.


Are upgrades free to registered users?

Yes, so far all upgrades have been free to registered users. We have no plans to change the policy at this time.


I purchased the N3FJP Software Package and CD some time ago. Since then you have released new versions for a number of programs. Can I get a new CD with full use of your software for less than $64.99?

Yes, upgrades are free to registered users. You have already purchased the package so all you need is a new CD. You can purchase a new CD for only $15 (including shipping). Please visit our Register Now page to use the PayPal button for the $15 CD only order.


I just changed my call sign! Do I have to change my call sign / password combination in AC Log or the contesting software?

No, you can continue to use the original call sign / password combination when installing the programs and then operate under your new call sign.


When using your log for Field Day, do we have to purchase separate licenses for each computer we use?

You may use and install the Field Day Contest Log and the Field Day Network Log on multiple computers at one Field Day site with one registration. Please keep the password confidential for club use only. In addition, please uninstall the program from any PCs that do not remain at the club facility after the contest.


Our club registered your software. Are club members allowed to use the club registration at home or elsewhere for their personal use?

No, a club registration is only for use at the location of a club station. Providing club members registration numbers for their personal use is NOT allowed under our registration policy. This is a violation of our agreement, it hurts our business and our livelihood. Since 1997, we have kept our one time registration fee low and we've provided countless free upgrades. To continue our current, free upgrade pricing policy, we are counting on the honesty and integrity of clubs to maintain the strict confidentially of club passwords.



Installation and Migrating From Other Logging Software:


How do I download and install a program from the website?

I have a list of step by step instructions on the Installation Tips page. Please click the link for complete details.


How do I install the program on a computer that is not connected to the Internet using a data storage device?

You'll find the instructions at the bottom of the Installation Tips page.


Is there a link on your website where I can download the package all at once?

At this time, when you register the full package, there is not a link to download the package all at once. You can download the programs as needed from the website on their individual pages. There is no time limit, and you can download as often as you like.


Can I transfer the log data file from my "old program" to AC Log?

If your old logging program exports its data in standard ADIF format, you can import your log data files to AC Log with no problem. Please try the following:

- Export your data in ADIF Format from your old log.

- Note the location of the .adi file you just created from your old log.

- Open AC Log.

- From the menu options click File > Import ADIF Format.

- Navigate to the .adi file location.

- Double click on the .adi file and your log data will appear in the List Box on the main form of Amateur Contact Log.

Please Note, after you import your ADIF file into AC Log and your log data is out of order, parts are missing, etc., the log you transferred the data from was not using the standard ADIF format. You can sort your log by clicking File > Sort Log on Date. Many of the missing data fields can be filled by clicking from the menu options Edit > Fill Fields Determined by Call. If you continue to have trouble, please send us an e-mail with the .adi log file attached, and we will be happy to take a look.


How do I get my log that I have kept as an MS Excel worksheet into AC Log?

I have prepared a simple Excel spreadsheet that will help you convert the data for import to the 3X versions of AC Log. If you are running AC Log 4.0 or later, you'll have to download AC Log 3.4 from the archive page, bring in the data and then export it in ADIF to transfer to AC log 4.0 or later. Please click here to download a copy of the spreadsheet.


Will your software run on Vista and Windows 7 or 8?

Yes, all our programs run on Windows 7 and Windows 8. We recommend using my newer versions of the software with these operating systems. If you do use one of the old VB6 programs, it is very important to install and run the software with Administrator privileges with the older, VB6 versions of our software. Also, you may have to click the Compatibility tab to see files created by the old VB6 versions of our software (see the next question for more details).


Which emulator are Mac users running with the new versions of your software?

I've had excellent reports from Mac users running Parallels 9.0.


Will your software run on Linux?

I don't know the first thing about Linux myself. I'd love to learn, but the reality is that with a growing list of more than 50 programs to support and maintain, it's all I can do to keep up with Windows.

The good news is that I've had many excellent reports from Linux users running the older VB6 versions of my software under Wine on Linux. Both network and stand alone VB6 versions run fine under Wine.

Since the new versions of my software run on the .NET framework, they theoretically should run on Linux under Mono, but I've had some Linux users report some challenges there, opting to stay with the existing VB6 versions. If you are able to run the new versions on Linux, please let me know.

Update: Bill, AE5CP reports using the following procedure to successfully run the new, C#.NET versions of my software on a Ubuntu box using Wine as follows:

Install CrossOver and register.

Install the following runtimes:

.NET Framework 2.0

.NET Framework 4.0

.NET Framework 4 extended

Microsoft Data Access Components 2.8

Microsoft Jet 4.0

Microsoft Media player 10 (download from Microsoft and install)

Visual Basic 6 service pack 4 runtime

Visual Basic 6 service pack 6 runtime

Mono

Install IE 7

Install ACLog.

It will not run from the shortcut created, but that's ok, we'll build a new one. With CrossOver open, click Programs, then Run command. Browse in the "c" drive to the ACLog executable, and before clicking run, click "Save command to programs menu" then click run.

ACLog should start.

Note - (N3FJP back at the keys) Again, I have virtually zero knowledge of Linux personally, but I don't know of any reason that any .NET Framework besides .NET 4.0 Client should be required. I also can't think of any reason the Visual Basic 6 service packs would be required for the new versions. The rest of the listed dependencies look reasonable.

If you can find another method of running the C#.NET versions on Linux, or you are able to refine this working procedure, please report your successful steps!


I am trying to upgrade to the current version of AC Log and am having trouble transferring my log file. What do I do?

I'm sorry that you have run into trouble transferring your log file. Let's try this:

- Start the new version of AC Log, but this time answer NO to the upgrade question. Enter your password.

- Open the old version of AC Log.

- From the menu options of the old version click File > Export - ADIF Format > Whole Log.

- Close the old version.

- From the new version of AC Log click File > Import - ADIF Format.

- Navigate to the ADIF file that you exported from the previous version and select it.


Why is Norton / Symantec blocking the program installation?

Norton / Symantec is returning a false positive. Unfortunately, every time I upload a program, even if the version number has not changed, Symantec (Norton) always defaults to a positive and then waits for its users to submit the file before evaluating it. This occurs even if the change is nothing more than a newer country list. Symantec is the only major Internet protection software vendor with this business practice that I know of.

I've personally scanned the file with both McAfee Total Protection and Avast with clean results. In addition, there have not been any other reports from other Internet Protection software vendors, so I'm sure the file is clean.

I'm not a Symantec customer, but you can submit the false positive report here and I would really appreciate it:

https://submit.symantec.com/false_positive/

Following your submission, after a day or two, Symantec should update their definitions to allow you to install the software.

Another user writes that he was able to go into Norton's “Reputation” settings, looked at the description and followed their solution for a “known good source.” In doing that he was able to download the file with no problem. Even if you go this route, I would still really appreciate it if you would take just a moment to report the false positive to Norton via the link above.



Contest File Submittal and Contest File Transfer to AC Log:


How do I submit my contest log entry after the contest is finished?

- From the menu options click File > Write Cabrillo (Contest Submittal) File.

- Complete the form that appears.

- Click the button at the lower right to write the file that says Write Cabrillo Summary File.

- The program will create the file, tell you the file name and where it is written. Make a note of the file location.

- If you are running Vista or later operating systems and older versions of my software, you will have to click the Compatibility Files tab to see the file. With the newer versions of my software, you can save the file where ever you like and it is much easier to find.

- Start your e-mail client, address your e-mail as defined in the contest rules and attach the file that you created.

- The file name that you should submit will be the one that begins with your call sign.

If for any reason you wish to edit the file before submitting it, you can open it with Notepad or any text editor that does not introduce formatting characters.


Help, the contest robot won't accept my Cabrillo log file?

First, don't panic. This is almost always easily correctable. The robots are actually quite helpful in explaining the problem for most contests. Please take a deep breath, relax, carefully read the robot's detailed reply and correct the error. Then recreate and submit your Cabrillo log file.

The most common problems are:

- The log was not submitted in Cabrillo format. Remedy: Make sure you e-mail your log file that begins with your Call Sign following these steps. ADIF files are not sent for contest submittal.

- An operational category was selected that is not valid for this contest. Remedy: carefully review the rules for this contest and enter a valid category on the Cabrillo form.

- The robot doesn't recognize what appear to be correct values. Remedy: It is likely you left a required field blank in Setup or on the Cabrillo form. Make sure all the Setup fields have proper values, recreate and submit your Cabrillo log file.

- The QSO date is outside of the date range for the contest. Remedy: Make sure all the contacts you submit are within the contest time window. If your PC clock was set wrong, you will have to edit the contacts individually to correct the date (sorry, there is not a bulk date edit feature).

- The Cabrillo file you submitted has unexpected carriage returns. Remedy: The file created by my software is formatted properly, but if you opened it in a text editor that introduces carriage returns, that will create a problem. Recreate the file and submit it again. If you must edit it, use Windows Notepad.


How do I transfer my contest contacts to AC Log and specify the correct mode that LoTW and QRZ will accept?

Here are the steps for transferring your contest data to AC Log via ADIF export:

- From the contest log menu options click File > Export ADIF Format.

- Note the .adi file location.

- To map phone modes identified as PH to SSB, FM, etc., which LoTW and eQSL require, use the mode mapping form that appears after you click Save. The example below shows PH being mapped to SSB:

- Open AC Log.

- From the menu options click File > Import ADIF Format.

- Navigate to the .adi file location.

- Double click on the .adi file and your contest data will appear in the List Box on the main form of Amateur Contact Log.


I'm using Vista / Windows 7, and I can't find the ADIF/Cabrillo/Other file that I formatted for contest submission?

The latest versions of my software have all been updated so that your submission files are output to locations compliant with Vista, Windows 7 and later operating systems and are much easier to find. The following only applies to very old versions of my VB6 software.

If you are still using the older, VB6 versions of my software with Vista and Windows 7 or 8, after navigating to the program directory where you saved the file you created, you must click on the Compatibility Files tab to see the file.

Vista and Windows 7 or 8 actually store the files in a “Virtual Store” under the AppData store in your user folder. Fortunately, you don’t need to hunt around for the files, just turn on “Compatibility Files” in Explorer. When you browse to a folder that has these hidden files, you’ll see a Compatibility Files toolbar button. Clicking it will show the virtual files for that folder. Keep in mind, though, that the files won’t show up in Open and Save dialogs.

Bryan Johns was kind enough to put this video together demonstrating how to find the Compatability files:


Can I use AC Log to create a Cabrillo file for contest submission?

Since various contests have different Cabrillo output format requirements that are contest specific and because AC Log is designed with general logging in mind, AC Log doesn't have a Cabrillo output function. All my contesting programs will of course generate the appropriately formatted Cabrillo files designed specifically for each contest.


Files, Upgrading and Backup:


What are the steps for upgrading to the latest version of Amateur Contact Log?

You'll find all the upgrade steps here!


I just bought a new PC! How do I transfer Amateur Contact Log and my contacts to my new computer?

Go ahead and download the installation file for AC Log, install it and then enter your password.

From the old computer click File > Export ADIF. Write the file to an accessible location to all PCs on your home network, or to a portable storage medium and take it to your new computer. From the new computer click File > Import ADIF and select the file. If you would like to also transfer your customized settings, click here for those details.


How do I maintain data on two computers?

From the computer with the most recent data click from the menu options File > Export - ADIF Format. Write the file to a data storage device and take the device to the computer with the older data. From the "old data" computer click from the menu options File > Reset Counter, and enter a value of 0. Then click File > Import - ADIF Format and select the file on your data storage device.


Can I maintain multiple log files on AC Log?

Yes, to start a new log file, from the menu options click File > New > Start a New Log with a New Database File. Your previously opened log file will be fine. Just be sure to give your new file a new, valid file name (don't uses slashes or other invalid file name characters in the file name). You can always open any of your log files by clicking File > Open, navigating to them and selecting them.


How do I export my log to a data storage device?

From the menu options click File > Export - ADIF Format; navigate to the data storage device and click Save.


I want to keep a copy of my contest file. How do I save it?

With the new versions of my software, just click File > Save As. For the old VB6 versions, if you want to keep a copy of your log file after the contest, you need to copy it to a new directory and rename the file. After you exit the contest program and then start it again, you have the option to continue an old contest or start a new one. If you choose to start a new contest, your old file will be gone. Most users export their contest contacts to ACLog for a permanent record.


I would like to backup or transfer my AC Log customized settings. Which files should I copy?

You will need the following files for AC Log 3.4 and earlier:

ACCtrlLc.txt
hcolm.txt
hcolmord.txt
hcolors.txt
tabord.txt

And these files for AC Log 4.0 and later (note - these files only exist if you changed from a default setting):

AddressPrintSettings.xml
ColorAndFontSettings.xml
CustomFieldsDisplayed.xml
LoTWColumnWidth.xml
LoTWListColumnOrder.xml
MainListColumnOrder2.xml
MainListColumnWidth2.xml
Settings.xml
QSLStripPrintSettings.xml


I purchased a customized graphic of my call sign to display each time the software starts. Where do I save the file so that it automatically displays properly?

From the menu options of AC Log or any of the newer contesting programs click File > Show File Locations.

Note the location of your Shared Settings Files. It will look something like this, except that your Windows user name will be part of the path:

Using Windows Explorer, save the graphic file in your shared settings directory with the file name splash.jpg. After you save the file to the proper location, it will display during load each time you start the software.


I no longer have a 3X (or earlier) version of AC Log installed, but I still have my log data file. How can I transfer my log to the newer version of AC Log?

You'll need to first open your old log file in a 3X version of AC Log and then export it in ADIF (click File > Export ADIF) for import into the current version of AC Log. You'll find AC Log 3.4 archived here.


When I sign on to Windows with a different user profile, why is a new log started?

The software will always attempt to load the file used during your last session (assuming you have not moved your log file) on start up. For the software to automatically open the log file you used during your last session and access your registration information (password) on startup, you must sign on to Windows with your usual user profile, or as Administrator if that is how you have been running the software.

Your last used log file is likely fine (as are the backups you've enabled), but the path to your log file resides in your settings files. If you start the software with a different Windows user profile, it won't have access to your last used path and settings, so it won't know where to look for your log file.

If you signed on to Windows with a different user profile, AC Log will start a new log with that profile and prompt you for your password, but your log that you created under your previous Windows user profile should be fine. Just click File > Open, navigate to where you have been saving your log file and select it (or restore from your backup folder if necessary).

To see the location of your currently open log file, click File > Show File Locations and note the file path. It is typically something like C:\Users\YourWindowsUserProfileName\My Documents\Affirmatech\N3FJP Software\ACLog\LogData.mdb. Of course, all your backups and settings files are stored in the Windows user profile path that you have been previously using when you run the software as well.


If I ever have to restore from backup, what is the best approach?

The best restoration approach is the one that uses your most current, up to date backup. If you've simply imported or entered unintended data and that data all has the highest record numbers, simply click File > Reset Counter and enter the value of the last good record.

If you do actually have to restore from a backup file, here are the options:

- If you have the Backup on Close option enabled, a backup is created every time you close AC Log. You can click File > Backup Options to see the path where you have been saving that backup. Using Windows Explorer, copy that file to where you want to keep your log. Then, from AC Log's file options click File > Open, navigate to the file and select it.

- AC Log also makes a backup once a week automatically by default. You can determine the location of the Backup folder by clicking File > Show File Locations. From AC Log's file options click File > Open, navigate to the Backup folder, find your most recent backup file and select it. Then immediately click File > Save As and save the file where you want to keep your primary log file with the file name you wish to use.

- If you don't have any backup files, as long as you have been uploading to Log Book of The World, you can still restore your log that way. From the LoTW form in AC Log, click the button under the Download heading that says All Data. Any records not currently in your log will be added.


What's the best way to protect myself from data loss?

Actually, this question is almost never asked, and then only after data loss has occurred, but is it something for all of us to prepare for. Hard drives fail, RF / power surges get in the shack and corrupt files, Windows updates go awry, viruses invade, PC cleaners "clean" too much (I've had multiple reports of "Cleaners" eating log files over the years), components of our operating systems fail and human errors happen. Over the long haul, without protection, data loss is an inevitability.

The best way to protect yourself from data loss is by backing up your data often, ideally to an external medium. Both AC Log and the contesting programs offer several automatic backup options that you can configure by clicking File > Backup Options.

AC Log creates a backup of your data automatically, once a week by default and also includes an option to save a backup every time you close it to a location of your choice. To fully protect yourself from data loss, I strongly recommend you enable the backup on close option and choose an external medium such as another location on your home network, thumb drive, etc. With this enabled to an external medium, even if the PC hosting your log file totally fails, you can be sure that the worst case scenario is only losing a day's worth of data, not a lifetime of logging.

Please take a minute now and plan a sensible backup process for your data!



Logbook of the World (LoTW):


Do your programs support the ARRL's Log Book of the World?

Yes, the Log Book of the World uses either ADIF or Cabrillo format. All of my software will export in either one or both of these formats. In addition, ACLog will upload, download confirmations from LoTW and update your log file automatically. For more information on LoTW, please click here.


In addition to regular contest submission, can I upload my contest data to the ARRL's Log Book of the World?

Yes, the Log Book of the World uses either ADIF or Cabrillo format. All of my software will export in either one or both of these formats.


I uploaded records to LoTW but they aren't marked as sent?

Immediately after you upload to LoTW, nothing is changed in your log. The TQSL software may have had a problem signing your records or LoTW may not have received or processed them properly. To ensure your records have been received by LoTW, your records are not marked as Sent with an L in the Sent Confirmed By field until you later download the records that you uploaded.

Please keep in mind that when LoTW is busy, uploads are held in queue and aren't immediately available for download. Don't panic if the records you recently uploaded aren't available for download yet. Don't upload the same records again because your previous records are replaced and the cycle starts all over. Instead, wait a while and then click the command button on the LoTW form under Download that says All Since and enter a recent date. Once your records are processed by LoTW they will be available for download.

After you download your records from LoTW, your log records will then be marked with a Y in the Sent column and an L in the Sent Confirmed By column to indicate sent confirmed by LoTW. If the contact has also been confirmed on LoTW, the Received columns will be updated accordingly as well.

If there are some gaps of unmarked records in your log, you've probably been downloading Confirmed Since or All Since before LoTW finished processing an upload. Click the All Data button under the Download heading on the LoTW form and all the records you previously uploaded to LoTW will be marked appropriately.


I am having trouble setting up LoTW?

For all the LoTW setup steps, please click here.


What emission modes are supported by LoTW?

You'll find ARRL's complete list here: https://p1k.arrl.org/lotw/faq#modes

Please note that the TQSL program can map the modes in an ADIF log file that aren't valid to modes that are valid via the File menu Preferences command (use the ADIF Modes tab).


Why am I seeing a message about duplicates when I upload contacts to LoTW?

The duplicate message is being returned from the TQSL software, not AC Log. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have duplicates in your log, but TQSL thinks that you have uploaded those records previously, so it is alerting you to that and then giving you the option to exclude duplicates. It's generally best not to send the same records to LoTW that you have already uploaded.



Callbook Automatic Lookup:


I have downloaded the call data from the AC Log page on your website. How do I get the Amateur Contact Log call data lookup function to work (version 3.4 and earlier)?

- Click here to download the AC Log Ready Calldata and unzip the file.

- Open AC Log.

- From the menu options click CallBook.

- A form will appear giving instructions on the CallData.

- Click the checkbox for call book lookup at the bottom of the form.

- In the textbox on the bottom, enter the directory the call data resides (the directory where you put the unzipped file).

If you put the call data in the program’s working directory the entry would be: C:\Program Files\ACLog (current version).

- Click Done.

- After entering a valid U.S. or Canadian callsign, when you tab from the call field to the date field, the name and address

will appear in the Comments field.


I have purchased your CD with the the CallData on it. How do I get the Amateur Contact Log to use the call data lookup function from the CD (version 3.4 and earlier)?

- Insert the N3FJP Software CD into your CD ROM drive.

- Open AC Log.

- From the menu options click CallBook.

- A form will appear giving instructions on the CallData.

- Click the checkbox to enable call book lookup at the bottom of the form.

- In the textbox on the bottom, enter the location of your CD ROM drive and the CallData directory. For example, d:\calldata.

- Click Done.

- After entering a valid U.S. or Canadian callsign, when you tab from the call field to the date field, the name and address

will appear in the Comments field. Accessing data from the CD is usually slower than using your hard drive.


I have signed into QRZ with my password, but the QRZ Online Callbook feature does not seem to work.

The QRZ Online Callbook option is not included with the free QRZ membership and services. This is a subscription service offered by QRZ. Please click this link for more information http://online.qrz.com/.

Also, please be aware that after your QRZ subscription or trial has expired, QRZ will only return the name until you renew your QRZ subscription.


I use the Buckmaster Hamcall CD. Is there a way I can copy the data to the hard drive and have AC Log access it for faster lookup?

Yes, after you copy your data to the hard drive, from AC Log's menu options click Callbook > Hamcall Buckmaster CD and enter the designation of your hard drive. Don't type any other characters such as a colon or backslash. Just enter the letter such as "C" (without the quotes).


I use the QRZ CD. Is there a way I can copy the data to the hard drive and have AC Log access it for faster lookup?

Yes, copy the entire folder CALLBK from the QRZ CD to your hard drive. AC Log will then find the data. The folder on your hard drive containing the data must be c:\CALLBK.


The QRZ Callbook Lookup function stopped working and is only returning the person's name?

The QRZ lookup service will only return the contact's name after your subscription or trial period has expired. You'll find a reminder on the QRZ setup form:


Also, if you would like to see the full address appear in the Comments field, from AC Log's menu options click Callbook and make sure Place Retrieved Address in Comments Field is checked.



Printing:


I want to have a "hard copy" of my contest log. How do I print it?

If you want a "hard copy" of your contest log, you can print the Cabrillo, ASCII or data file you created for contest submission by opening the file in a text editor such as Notepad and clicking File > Print.


I want to format and print a report for * * award submission. How can I do this?

Using any spreadsheet program, you can easily format and print reports for award submission. To do this:

- Open AC Log.

- Select the records you wish to use for the award by highlighting them in the List Box.

- From the menu options click Edit > Copy Current List to the Clipboard or Edit > Copy Selected Records to the Clipboard

depending on how you selected your records for the award.

- Open a spreadsheet program and click Edit > Paste from the menu options.

You can now format and print the data in any way you like using the spreadsheet program.



Display and Settings:


The AC Log bearing and distance doesn’t seem to work properly for stateside QSOs.

The bearing and distance works best for DX. With versions 1.8 and later, I have included the latitude and longitude of the state capitals so, when you enter the state, the calculations should reflect the bearing and distance from your QTH to the state capital. Additionally, Jim's country files now include the Lat & Long for some US call areas. Click View > Country List to see which ones.

Also, some of the callbook lookup options return Lat and Long and AC Log will use these values to calculate bearing and distance. In addition, if you are recording the grid square, the bearing and distance will update based on the value you enter in the grid square field.

So, in short, as long as you are accurately providing both your Lat / Long as well as the station you are working's Lat / Long, the values should update accordingly, but if the data source for call book lookup isn't returning that data (not all services have the data for all contacts), there is no way for AC Log to perform the calculation.


Why are western longitude values entered as positive numbers?

When I first wrote AC Log in the late 1990s, the amount of latitude / longitude resources and on line lookups were nowhere near as prevalent as today. For those that I did find, some used positive values and others used negative values for western coordinates. In other words, to this business manager (at the time) and programming neophyte, there didn't appear to be an obvious standard.

Since the Sun rises in the east and travels to the west, to me it seemed sensible to give the most eastern values the lowest number and the western values the highest. After all, the sun reaches the east first and the west last. I then looked at a US map and observed there were no negative signs in front of the western longitude values, so that settled it for me.

Once time passed and a consensus seemed to be emerging in the other direction, I attempted to phase in a change, but it created so much confusion among folks that had become used to the way my software worked, it became clear that was going to be about as successful as our country's attempt to phase in the metric system!

The easiest remedy has been to simply remind western users to enter their longitude as a positive value. The statement on the setup page to enter western values as positive on the new versions seems to have helped significantly.


I've rearranged the list column heading order and changed some of the widths in AC Log. How do I save these changes?

For AC Log 4.0 and later, your changes will be saved automatically on exit. For the 3X versions, once you have your column order and widths the way you like, click from the menu options Settings > Save Current Column Width and Order.


How do I get AC Log to display the date format I want? The sort function is returning an order out of chronological sequence.

For best results, you should have the date format for AC Log and the date format for your operating system set as close as possible. To change your AC Log Date Format click from the menu options Settings > UTC QTH & Date options. To set your operating system format click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Regional Settings > Date. That will help AC Log and the operating system understand each other.


AC Log always inserts CW in the Mode Field even when I try to change it.

When you have the rig interface operating, the Mode Field will automatically fill depending on the portion of the band you are on with CW or SSB. To be able to input your preference, you need to disable the rig interface.


I'd like to filter the DX spots I see. How can I accomplish that?

You can filter by continent right from my software's DX spotting form by selecting the continents you would like to see. This is useful for contests geared towards specific regions. With AC Log 4.8, I added additional filtering you can set by clicking the More Filtering button on the DX Spotting setup form.

For even more specific filtering, most DX Spotting telnet hosts provide a variety of filtering options. This DX Spotting web site manual details how to configure your DX Spotting telnet host to your preferences. Specific filtering options are detailed here.


How do I set the UTC clock offset with the new versions of your software?

The new versions of my software read the UTC time directly from your Windows operating system. As long as you have your time, time zone and day light savings time adjustment properly set in your Windows OS, the UTC will be correct.


How do I configure AC Log for fast paced, non-contest operations such as DX-peditions, special events, operating from a lighthouse or IOTA location, etc.?

You'll find this answer in the announcement I sent out explaining how to configure AC Log during W1AW's Centennial Celebration for those operating as W1AW/X as an example. In addition to those configuration details, of course you can always customize AC Log's data entry fields how ever you like by clicking Settings > Edit Fields Displayed.



Field Day:


How do I set up the program for networking, accessing a common data file with multiple PCs?

You'll find all the details on setting up my software for networking here: http://www.n3fjp.com/help/networkinghelp.html.


We are going to have multiple stations, but we aren't going to set up a network. How can we combine the log files after the contest?

If you are not networked during the event and have multiple logs to combine, from each of the other PCs click File > Export ADIF and take them to the PC on which you are combining your master log. On that PC click File > Import ADIF and select each of the ADIF files. Then click File > Remove Duplicates (if you wish) and then click File > Sort Log on Date.

Make sure that you back up these files from each PC before you begin combining them! Also, don't merge the GOTA station QSOs into this file. GOTA contacts are added separately.


You have lots of information on setting up your software for networking, but can you help us set up the network itself?

As you can probably imagine, as Field Day approaches, I receive tons of requests from folks who are attempting to set up their networks, enable sharing across multiple platforms, different routers and other hardware, etc. While I'd love to be able to help with that, my knowledge is geared to programming, not networking, hardware or operating systems and I'm by no means an expert in those areas. I simply don't have the time or expertise it would require to support all the network / OS setup questions that come my way.

That said, it's generally very easy to set up a network and it is well worth it. Using the network features of my software will definitely add to your Field Day fun!

My networking software has been used successfully for years on a variety of Windows operating systems (I'm not aware of any combination that will not work from Win 95 on up, though you must use at least XP with SP3 with the newer versions 4.0 and later).

In a nutshell, all you have to do is:

- Set up your network (you can Google "Set up home network" for all the information you need to get you going).

- Put the LogData.mdb file (new version) or FDlog.mdb file (old version) in a folder that is accessible to all the PCs on the network.

- Make sure the Field Day software is pointing to the correct log file by clicking File > Open, navigating to the file and selecting it.

- Make sure that your Internet / Virus Protection software is allowing the program to communicate.

- Enable permissions to Update (not just read) on the drive, folder and log data file.


How do we handle GOTA station contacts?

Your GOTA station has to be operated under a different call, so its contacts are kept separately in its own log file and should not be connected to the log file of the other stations (or merged via ADIF afterwards). You'll just keep the GOTA log separate and add the GOTA totals when you submit your entry.


How do I submit our Field Day entry to ARRL?

1. Start the Field Day Program.

1A. If you were not networked during the event and have multiple logs to combine, from each of the other PCs click File > Export ADIF and take them to the PC on which you are combining your master log. On that PC click File > Import ADIF and select each of the ADIF files. Then click File > Remove Duplicates (if you wish) and then click File > Sort Log on Date.

Make sure that you back up these files from each PC before you begin combining them! Also, don't merge the GOTA station QSOs into this file. GOTA contacts are added separately.

2. From the program's menu options click File > Write Cabrillo File. Complete the form that appears. Then click the Write Duplicate and Write Summary file command buttons.

3. When you click the Write Summary command button, you will be prompted to save the file and then given the option to view it. Click Yes to view the file. Then click the link at the lower left to visit http://www.b4h.net/cabforms/ website (you get extra bonus points submitting this way).

4. After navigating your web browser to http://www.b4h.net/cabforms/, click on the ARRL Field Day entry form link. Then complete the form that appears. You can refer to the summary display to quickly retrieve the information you need to enter on the web form.

5. Click the Submit Entry button at the bottom of the form.

6. Since Rule 8.4.2 requires an alphanumeric listing of calls by band and mode, you should also attach the yourcall.dup file to an e-mail addressed to fieldday@arrl.org. If you are planning to snail mail additional supporting documentation, you have the alternative of saving this file to a portable medium and including it in your packet. Also, be sure to check the Field Day contest rules for any other supporting documentation you may be required to submit for your bonus points.


How do I fix the Unable to Execute SQL Command error?

The causes of errors accessing your database are listed from most common to least common as follows:

- By far, the most common cause of that error is that your security permissions are not allowing the program to access the log data file. First, make sure that you save the LogData.MDB file to a drive and directory that is accessible to ALL PCs on the network. I do not recommend using your Program Files directory, as Windows is especially particular about allowing access there. Instead, use something like c:\FieldDay. The drive, folder and file ALL must have their permissions set to Update, not just Read and must be accessible to all the PCs on your network. In this example, your drive c, your folder FieldDay and your file LogData.mdb must all have permissions set to Update. The drive and folder must also be Shared.

- Your network is having drops in connectivity. I have lots more information on remedying that here: http://www.n3fjp.com/help/networkinghelp.html.

- Your virus protection software is blocking the connection. I've had user reports from folks attempting to run two different virus protection software programs simultaneously, which were in conflict with each other, preventing the connection. Disabling one of the virus programs corrected the problem. In another case, Kaspersky issued an update that affected all programs using Microsoft Access databases, including mine. Kaspersky users had to wait for Kaspesky to issue a corrected update to remedy that situation.

- There have been a few other, very rare reports, which I've been documenting half way down this page here.



Other:


Why do I get a com port sharing error message?

My software will not share ports with other programs or even different functions within the same program. For example, if you are using com port four for rig interface, you'll need to select another com port for CW sending in the software (and of course connect your CW interface to the com port selected for CW). Your CW sending interface and your rig interface are two different devices and each will have to be connected to a different port.

Here is an example of the message you will see when you attempt to use a com port for CW that is already in use:

If this is the error message you are seeing, it is because the com port is already in use by another program. Whichever program you open first takes control of the com port. No other program / function will be able to access it until the resource is released by the program that controls it.


Would you mind if I put a link on my website to your site http://www.n3fjp.com/?

We would very much appreciate it! Most of our customers find us by hearing about our software from other satisfied customers.


Will your logging software interface with any digital software programs?

The old VB6 versions of my software interfaced with K7RE RTTY, but K7RE RTTY no longer seems to be available. In addtion, the protocols we developed for interface are not supported by the .NET framework, so K7RE RTTY is not an option for the new versions of my software. Fortunately, there is an alternative in development!

Ed, W4ELP and Rick, N8SDR have developed a script to use the new C#.NET version of my Field Day software with the DM 780 digital mode program! The W4ELP Lookup Utility was first used during the 2013 Field Day contest with my software and DM 780 with good success. I've been in contact with the authors since and I understand they are expanding the W4ELP Lookup Utility to interface with more of the new versions of my software and eventually AC Log.

I'm not active on the digital modes right now so I haven't given this a try myself, but I've seen a video of it in action and it appears to work well! You'll find lots more details, contact for the authors and a link to download the script here:

http://n8sdr.sopmcincy.org/index.php/w4elp-lookup-utility

Any questions, development status updates or requests for support should be sent to the W4ELP Lookup Utility authors. You can join the W4ELP Lookup Utility support group here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/W4ELP-Lookup/info.

Another alternative, if you use a different digital program, is to simply log your contacts in the digital program when you are operating digital and then transfer your contacts to AC Log via ADIF.


How do I control my antenna rotor while using your software?

I don't presently have rotor control built directly into my software and I haven't tried this myself, but another user kindly wrote in with this great option:

Hi Scott, I understand your reluctance to include rotor control and with further Internet search, I've found a program (PstRotatorAz) written by Codrut Buda, YO3DMU that works perfectly with all of your logging programs.

[The program grabs] the entered callsign and does either a locator or callsign prefix lookup from QRZ.com or most other available databases including it's own internal lookups and automatically positions a supported rotor controller to the right heading.

His registration fee is only 15 Euro's and for what the program is capable of this is cheap indeed. Just thought I'd let you know in case you get other requests for the inclusion of rotor control in your loggers.


Why am I unable to upload my ADIF file to ___ with my name in the Operator field?

My software will work fine with any value in the Operator field, but some services, such as QRZ, will only accept valid call signs in the Operator field. Changing your name to your call sign in the records you wish to upload to that service will correct the problem.


What is the easiest way to perform bulk or global edits to all my records at once?

If you wish to fill missing fields that can be determined by the call sign that are currently blank, click Edit > Fill Fields Determined by Call.

If you wish to mark a number of records as QSL Sent or Received, select the records (by holding Ctrl or Shift and clicking with your mouse) and then click Edit > Mark Selected Records as QSL...

If wish to change a data value that you've already entered to another value, please follow these steps. We will change Chris to KB3KCN in the Operator field as an example:

- Backup your log file (Click File > Create Backup and enter a file name for your backup file that is different than your currently open file).

- Click File > Export ADIF > Whole Log.

- Start Notepad or WordPad, navigate to the ADIF file you just exported and open it (don't forget to change the file type filter to all file types so you can see and open the file).

- From Notepad or WordPad's menu options click Edit > Replace.

- Enter the value you want to change in the Find what field, such as <OPERATOR:5>Chris.

- Enter the value you want the old value to become in the Replace with field, such as <OPERATOR:6>KB3KCN. Don't forget to change the ADIF length designator if necessary!

- Click Replace All.

- Save the file.

- Return to AC Log.

- Click File > Reset Counter and enter 0.

- Click File > Import ADIF and select the file. The changes you made will now be reflected in your log.



Support and Future Plans:


Is there an e-mail users group for your software?

Yes, please click here to learn more.


Can you change the Yahoo group(s) e-mail distribution list to my new e-mail address for me?

Yahoo groups has made changes and list owners are no longer able to add new e-mail addresses, so I'm not able to make that change for you. Additionally, the lists have grown so large and folks change their addresses so frequently that even if I still had the ability, time constraints would be prohibitive.

Fortunately, it is very easy for subscribers to unsubscribe and resubscribe with their new e-mail address.

Here are the links to the announcements group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/n3fjp_software/

And users group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/n3fjp_software_users/

Please go ahead and make that change.


Can I call you on the telephone?

We are very eager to help, but unfortunately, we are no longer able to give out our telephone number or call by telephone. Sadly, some customers will call at any whim and it is very difficult to program with constant interruptions. N3FJP Software just consists of Kimberly and me. We don't have a customer support staff besides the two of us, so we are much more efficient by responding to e-mail at convenient points throughout the day. Kimberly and I do our best to answer all e-mail within 24 hours, but there is no way that we could do that, write software and take phone calls too.

We've tried giving out our phone number on an exception basis in the past, but unfortunately some of those who said they would not continually call us have not honored that commitment. When we have made calls, folks have used Caller ID to obtain our number and then call us often (and frequently in the evening or weekends when work time is over and family time has begun). In addition, folks forget that we are on the Eastern time zone. We hit the hay about 9:00 PM but it's not uncommon for folks in other time zones to call us at 9:30 PM or later at night and think nothing of it.

For all of these reasons we are unable to release our telephone number or answer telephone calls. We hope that you understand.

Please e-mail the details of your problem and we will do our best to help.


You've been at this a long time! What are your future plans for N3FJP Software?

If you have been following along, you know that through the late 2000's, because of the support time requirements of my software, working full time at my "real" job and other family commitments , I was primarily focused on maintaining the existing programs. Not much new was added to the package through those years because, as support time answering questions grew, it took the time and energy I was previously able to spend coding.

My hope had been to be able to retire in 2017 and begin working on the software full time then. Wonderfully, in the fall of 2011, my employer made a contingent offer of an early retirement incentive, for which I barely qualified in terms of years of service. Another requirement, that it appeared I could not meet, was that they either had to be able to eliminate my function (they could not), or reorganize in a way that another person could assume my duties. I was initially told the likelihood of being granted the incentive was slim and none.

Long story short, through an amazing combination of circumstances aligning, I was granted the opportunity to take the incentive and my first day of "retirement" was Thursday, March 1, 2012, 5 years ahead of plan! Thank you all so much for your thoughts, encouragement and most of all your prayers during this time. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!

I need to qualify "retirement". My dad lived to 93 and mom is going strong at 91. I just turned 51 in 2013, so while no day is certain, Lord willing, I've got a long way to go. I am viewing these events as an exciting career change! I am nowhere near ready to watch the grass grow. I have lots of goals and dreams that I can't wait to fully devote my time to!

So, with that backdrop, and the preface that God and family will always come first, here is where we are and where we are going with N3FJP Software...

As of March 2012, after 6 months of intense coding, I finally completed the initial round of upgrades to the existing VB6 programs. They now display better on larger, wide screen monitors and make it much easier to find your submission files on Vista, Win 7 and later operating systems. The next step, now underway that began in the spring of 2012, is the mammoth project of converting all my software to C#.net. This will ensure that my software will continue to run on future operating systems beyond Windows 8.

As of February, 2014, I've completed the C#.NET rewrites for Amateur Contact Log, all the major ARRL and CQ contests, a few of the minor contests and I've started on the state QSO parties. I still have about 25 programs to go, mostly state QSO parties, so if I can complete a program every two weeks on average, I've got about a years worth of rewrite work ahead. After that, I hope to add some additional contesting programs to the package.

You may have noticed the small Affirmatech logo on the new N3FJP Software splash screen. In addition to Amateur Radio Logging Software, which will always be at the core of my activities, I am hoping to expand into other product lines with my family. My two sons, Chris and Brad and daughter-in-law, Samantha, are all gifted programmers. One of our dreams is to build a software business together. Looking farther out, we are planning some Affirmatech software products as well!


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